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OneVoice scores Buhari low on cardinal programmes

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….calls for quick actions

Obinna Ezugwu

President Mohammadu Buhari has recorded more failure than success on his cardinal programmes nearly three years into the life of his administration, due to lack of speed and discriminatory war against corruption. This was the thrust of a media parley organized by OneVoice Coalition, a civil society group in Lagos Thursday.

During the 2015 general elections, President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) made a number of promises, out of which three key themes stood out: improving Nigeria’s security environment; tackling corruption; and economic reforms. However, the record appears mixed, albeit more skewed towards underperformance.

Presenting a paper entitled: “Buhari, His Men and His Three Cardinal Programmes,” Media chairman of the organization Pastor Adedeji Adeleye, regretted that by his performance so far, President Buhari has dashed the high hopes of many Nigerians who expected him to fix many aspects of the nation requiring immediate attention.

He recalled that it took the President three months to appoint his aides, 166 days to form his cabinet and 14 months to unveil his medium term economic strategy, even though he ended up appointing some bad officials with dented integrity.

Pastor Adeleye wondered if he (the president) did not have a plan and a team to help him carry out his plan for more than 10 years he contested for presidency.

When Buhari came into office, Nigeria’s most pressing security challenges were the menace of Fulani herdsmen rampaging through farmlands in Benue, Nassarawa and Enugu States as well as some parts of Ondo, Ekiti and Kogi States; the Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram.

OneVoice observed that while government was able to free 84 out of 230 of the Chibok girls and also contain and diminish the Boko Haram insurgency through a combination of factors, the fight is yet to be over as Borno, Adamawa and Yobe still witness frequently suicide bombing.

It also noted that the fact that the President is the life patron of Miyyetti Allah is giving the Fulani herdsmen the courage to strike at will without fear of any strong resistance and retribution. Compared to IPOB which he rolled out military force to dismantle, the herdsmen have been having a field day.

On the fight against corruption, the group regretted that there has not been any high-profile conviction even as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is seen to have been more active than ever before in pursuing alleged perpetrators of graft.

The speech read in part: “Within group of corrupt people are many of the president’s men who ought to have been shown the way out of government if it were to be Europe and United States.

“For example, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami had his hands dirty in many corrupt cases: Early this year, he forced the EFCC to transfer the case-file of the Malabu Oil deals to his office. Ever since, the case-file is gathering dust in his office shelf without any further action from him. Secondly, he was found to have given clearance to Abdulrasheed Maina (wanted by EFCC since 2015) a former deputy director pension commission to resume as a director in the federal ministry of interior.

“Malami admitted to the Senate sub-committee probing this Maina-gate that he acted in consultation with Abba-Kyari Chief of Staff to President Buhari and Minister of Interior General Danbazzau. In all of these, President Buhari pretended not to know what is going on. No person has been indicted or fired for this terrible embarrassment to the administration. It is business as usual.

Other cases include the conflict between minister of state for petroleum resources Ibe Kachikwu and NNPC GMD Maikanti Baru; DG of DSS (Daura)’s letter to the Senate against the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as EFCC chairman, Babachir Lawal/Ayodele Oke’s corruption charges.”

Pastor Adeleye stressed that Maina was not the first person who was fired for corruption but brought back to government, buttressing his claim with exanples:

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“AbdulRahman Danbazzau was fired as chief of army staff for corrupt practices in arms purchase. Instead of dropping him, Buhari appointed him as minister of interior.

“Mohammed Barkindo was removed as NNPC MD by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua for stealing huge kickbacks from oil and gas sales. He was sponsored by the government as Secretary General of OPEC.

“Assistant Commissioner of Police Zakari Bui, a man accused and dismissed for aiding Boko Haram kingpin Kabiru Sokoto to escape from detention, was reinstated and promoted by the present administration.

“Ahmed Gambo Saleh, Registrar of the Supreme Court stole N2.2bn belonging to the Supreme court and was caught red handed and fired. Today Ahmed Gambo Saleh has been appointed the secretary of the committee monitoring corruption trials.

“Timipre Sylva has over 46 houses seized by the federal government which have now been returned to him because he is an APC stalwart.”

Journalists and members of different civil society groups in attendance took turn to raise issues bothering on the need to keep government on its toes as well as sensitize the people to use their voting power appropriately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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